World's oldest bank vows to be 'profoundly different' by 2017
The headquarters of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest bank, in Siena, Italy [AFP]

The board of troubled Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena -- the world's oldest bank -- Thursday approved a restructuring plan which it said will create a "profoundly different" bank by 2017.

The plan, which includes significant job and branch cuts and the sale of small subsidiaries, had been given the green light on Wednesday by the European Commission.

The scheme envisages a drop in the number of branches from 2,750 in 2012 to 2,200 by 2017 and the number of employees is expected to be cut from 31,000 at the end of 2011 to 23,000 by the end of the period.

The lender also hopes to boost its internet use, increasing the number of web customers from a current 1.0 percent to 10 percent, it said in a statement.

The bank said it aimed to cut costs by 713 million euros ($969 million) from 2012, and is aiming for a net profit of 900 million euros in 2017.

It confirmed borrowed funds would be repaid to the European Central Bank by the deadline in 2015.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]